Jack Strong: A Story of Life After Life by Walter Mosley
Release Date - July 29, 2014
Open Road Media
Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth
I know Walter Mosley's writing from his Easy Rawlins series. His other work is new to me. Jack Strong: A Story of Life After Life was probably the best choice I could have made when it comes to discovering his science fiction/fantasy work. As this is a novella, it was short enough to give me a taste, yet intriguing enough that I find myself curious to see if he develops this character into a new series.
Jack Strong isn't just a man, he's a patchwork man made up of the parts of dozens of different people. Each of these people have unfinished business and Jack becomes the vessel for which they can see things come to fruition. In his dreams he hears the 86-year-old grandmother who longs for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He dreams of the plots created by an Indian/Goan against another caste. There's a woman feeling freed by an affair she's having. A racist proud of beating a man of another color. Someone facing amputation and death. Finally, a man on death row.
For now, Jack seems to have been inhabited by Lance Richards, a man who was killed for skimming money from a casino. He soon meets Tom Grog, a member of the Convocation who is here to help him get adjusted to his new life. But, there are others watching him, and he has no idea who or why. All Jack knows is that he has souls trapped in him begging to have him fulfill their final wish.
Jack Strong ends on a note that convinces me this is just the first of many stories. While very short at under 40 pages, the novella does a great job of introducing the main characters and setting up Jack's future. I was hooked and can't wait for more.